FIFA have made the draw for this year’s Club World Cup competition, which has been postponed to early next year due to COVID-19 restrictions, with the venue also shifting from Japan to UAE.
Chelsea are one of seven teams participating in the competition, and we will be entering the tournament at the semi-final stage, wherein we will meet one of AFC champions Al Hilal, UAE league champions Al Jazira, or Oceania nominees Auckland City.
Al Jazira will square off against Auckland City in the tournament’s first round, with the winner on to face Al Hilal in the second round. The second-round winner will then take on Chelsea.
Recently-crowned Copa Libertadores champions, Palmeiras, are on the other side of the draw. They will also enter at the semi-final stage directly, and face the winner of the encounter between African champions Al Ahly, and CONCACAF winners Monterrey, from the second round.
The two-time African defending Champions will play directly in the second round, as UAE champions and host of the tournament Al Jazira will face Auckland City of New Zealand in the first round and opening game on 3 February.
The winner between Ahly and Monterrey will move on to play against the Copa Libertadores Champions Palmeiras of Brazil in the semis.
Conflict with the 2022 AFCON
Earlier on Monday, FIFA announced the dates of the delayed FIFA Club World Cup, as the tournament has been moved from Japan to the UAE from 3 to 12 February 2022.
Ahly have already complained to FIFA as the new dates come in conflict with the Africa Cup of Nations that will be played from 9 January to 6 February in Cameroon, as Egypt’s squad includes several key players from the Red Devils and they will also miss some key players from Tunisia’s national team & Morocco.
The 10-time African Champions are going to their 7th Club World Cup edition. Their best feat was winning the bronze in 2006 and most recently in 2020 after beating Palmeiras in the third-place contest.
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